Monday, 10 October 2011


Hi Guys

Well, the hullaballoo has died down somewhat.  I heard from another sister, who has just read the book and thinks it is ok, but that the writing itself could have been better.  Ouch!  But I know really that my writing is fine, although if and when I publish a paperback version I will revise the book to make it more punchy and compelling. 

Trouble is, all my family have their own perspectives on my book.  In the book, I am writing about my experience of childhood, but for obvious reasons they have their own ideas about it.  Because they were there, or in the background.  What they keep failing to realise, no matter how I spell it out, is that I have not written a book about my childhood.  I have written a book about my experiences within the mental health system, and I have had to fill in certain details about my background because they help to explain why I had breakdowns, why I didn't cope better.

Interesting, actually.  I have only just properly realised that is the subject of the book - when I was asked before I have said it is partly about me, and partly about the system.  Now I have clarified that to myself, it helps.  And it will help with my next endeavour, which is to be a book about recovery.  I don't know how long that will take me to write, but I feel now that I do have the distance to write it.  I am not afraid that I will break down at every turn - which is hard to explain, because in some ways I do feel quite fragile at the moment.  But I think it is a normal sort of fragile, not a completely vulnerable state of being.  I don't think I will ever be as vulnerable as I once was - because I have Paul now, and our children, to buoy me up.

I keep coming across a quote from Jung, to the effect that a schizophrenic stops being a schizophrenic when he feels understood by someone.  (On the Beyond Meds site).  So, whether or not I once was a schizophrenic (not a word that I would ever call anyone else) I am certainly not now.  And personally, I think that I was only a very vulnerable and frightened young person, with a total lack of support and understanding, and that my breakdowns were pretty much unavoidable.  I was lucky that I had them in a way, although it may take me a while to explain that properly.

Anyway, I must get on with some other stuff now.  It is World Mental Health Day and I am thinking of popping along to the local University, where they are hosting some events.  Shall I, shan't I? 

I will keep you all posted.

Louise x

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